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Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 10 E 01 Soultaker

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Together on camera at least.

Film watched: Soultaker

Servo: So your soul is subject to gravity? I have so many questions! Can souls get toe fungus? Can I still have butter if I'm a soul? Okay, can souls pit out their T-shirts? Does Retsyn work on souls? Help me!

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 presentation has examples of:

  • The Ace: Joel fixes everything that's wrong with the SOL in a few hours, among other great things... to poor Mike's evident chagrin.
  • Actor Allusion: The riffers recognize Joe Estevez from Werewolf, but it only gets referenced in a few jokes. "Yetiglanchi!"
  • Badass Beard: Joel has grown a snazzy little goatee since returning to Earth.
  • Brain Bleach: When Robert Z'Dar's crotch is thrust in Crow's face.
    Crow: Whoa, whoa, whoa! That took my soul, right there!
  • Brief Accent Imitation: Mike makes fun of Joe Estevez's slight slurring at one point:
    The Man: So that's your decision, then?
    Mike: So shat's your deshishion, shen?
  • Celebrity Resemblance: A woman in the film who's about to die looks like Art Garfunkel, according to Mike and the Bots.
    Tom: (singing) Like a bridge, over...
  • Celestial Bureaucracy: Second-Banana Heaven and possibly the entire afterlife is this, according to Frank.
  • Comically Missing the Point: The opening segment has the Bots holding a "wet t-shirt contest" by putting t-shirts in pans of water and comparing which is the most absorbent. They tell Mike they fail to see what the big deal is.
  • Continuity Nod: TV's Frank brings up Second Banana Heaven, stating that the politics there caused him to leave to become a Soultaker.
  • Darker and Edgier: The Bots' "alternate ending."
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: In-Universe, Mike and the bots take a lot more interest in the nuns getting on the bus than in the protagonists or the movie in general.
  • Fandom Nod: After hearing about how well Joel's life has gone since he escaped, Mike gets upset and starts asking questions like "What's he have that I don't?" The Bots advise Mike not to compare the two, saying it isn't healthy, in a nod to the massive Joel vs. Mike Fan Dumb that dominated online discussions of the series in the Internet's infancy.
  • For the Evulz: Dr. Forrester rigged the Satellite of Love to malfunction and crash back to Earth after ten years for no real reason.
  • Fridge Logic: That Joel is on Soultaker Frank's "list," his evasiveness about how he got to the satellite, the below-referenced tidbit that the restaurant he claims to manage had already closed, and even the fact that he spent movie segments tooling around outside the theater (where there isn't usually air) could suggest that, In-Universe, Joel is dead. What keeps it from being Fridge Horror is that, with Frank as his Soultaker, you gotta figure he's pretty safe, it's just that he can push elevator buttons but can't be shot... (Still no word on Retsyn.)
    • At the end Frank and Bobo are shown playing ring-toss with Bobo's soul, and Bobo is pretty much fine, so we can assume that Joel's OK
    • On another note, Dr. Forrester rigged the SoL to slowly self-destruct after ten years, which happens now, despite the SoL being over 500 years old by the events of season 8.
  • Genre Blind: Servo on Dr. Forrester:
    Servo: I knew there was something wrong with that guy!
  • Happily Ever After: The Bots are unhappy with the movie's ending, so they suggest that after the credits, Zack's life completely falls apart; Mike asks if that isn't a little extreme, and they sarcastically suggest that he'd prefer an ending that's so unrealistically saccharine it makes the average Disney movie look bleak.
    Mike: So, thereís no middle ground with you? Itís either straining grain alcohol through toast in back alleys or a happy little world of rodents in feety pajamas?
    Crow: Well yeah, Mike. Why's that so hard to understand?
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: invoked Crow saying that he enjoys "spurning a clown" makes a lot of sense when, in various RiffTrax shorts, Bill Corbett really dislikes clowns.
  • Johnny Cash: Referenced quite a bit, due to the Soultaker's outfit.
  • Leave the Camera Running: The first indication that there's something wrong with the satellite comes when the show refuses to cut to commercials, leaving Mike and the Bots awkwardly standing in front of the camera in silence.
  • Les Yay: invoked
    Mike: Is there a name for Mom's little sickness?
    Servo: Yeah, Lilith Fair-ism.
  • Martin Van Buren: A picture of him appears during Joel's attempt of contacting the SoL, as a sign of Cambot malfunctioning.
    Mike: Hey, what's goin' on?
    Servo: Why, it's Martin Van Buren, our nation's eighth president.
  • Mary Sue: Given that the lead actress wrote the film, there's a couple jokes about her describing her own character as beautifully as possible.
    Servo: (as Natalie): "INTERIOR: BEDROOM. Me, draped across the bed, tousled but tawny. I lay there, hand on my taut tummy— still pretty, in a worried kind of way. Zoom in closer to my prettiness. Closer."
  • Missing the Good Stuff: Crow gets something in his eye and misses the footage of the heroine taking off her clothes. Mike and Tom intentionally invoke this trope by claiming that what happened was a lot hotter than what was actually depicted on-screen.
    Crow: Aw, hell, a robe?!
    Servo: I saw a lot! I saw everything!
    Crow: Shut up, Servo!
  • Mundane Afterlife: According to the riffers, Heaven is the boiler room of a hospital.
  • Mythology Gag
  • No Sell: Apparently, Soultaker's are more powerful than Observers.
  • Not So Different: TV's Frank and Bobo.
    Pearl: (beaming) I knew these two would get along.note 
  • Nuns Are Funny
  • The Other Darrin: Lampshaded when Joel reacts to Crow's new voice, then approves, stating that proper maintenance means "changing your bowling pin" every so often.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Gypsy, who is malfunctioning along with the rest of the ship. She repeatedly insults Mike until Joel fixes her.
  • Overcrank: Since Natalie's undressing scene is in slow motion, Mike and the Bots joke that now she has to put her clothes on in slow motion once the villain appears.
  • Running Gag: Rocking, as it relates to Zach's friend Brad.
    • Mike and the Bots get a lot of mileage out of Vivian Schilling's resemblance to Tonya Harding.
    • "I'm Ed Bradley..."
    • Summerfest
  • Serious Business: The Bots are quite offended at the line "Led Zeppelin was wrong."
  • Shout-Out: Joel mentions that he'd spent a couple years doing pyrotechnics for the band Man Or Astroman (which had done its own Shout-Out to MST3K by performing a rendition of the closing "Love Theme" for their 1994 album).
    • As Joe Estevez tries to convince Natalie to come with him, Crow asks, "Aren't you due on the set of Werewolf?"
    • As the SOL begins fully breaking down, Crow can be heard singing "Nearer My God To Thee", which was reportedly the last song played by the musicians on the Titanic before it sank.
  • Special Guest/The Bus Came Back: Joel Robinson and TV's Frank make guest appearances; TV's Frank is stuck with being a Soultaker, while Joel returns to fix various problems aboard the Satellite of Love.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Joel - once a humble janitor, now manager of his own Hot Fish Shop! In Osseo!
    • Made funnier if one knew that the Hot Fish Shop (in Winona, not Osseo) closed the weekend the episode aired.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Gypsy, being hooked up to the malfunctioning satellite, rapidly develops something of an attitude problem.
    • Joel, of all people. Sure, he helped them fix the Satellite of Love, but his initial response when Mike and the Bots ask him for help getting back to earth? "I don't really want to." before coming up with a flimsy pep talk to convince them to remain aboard and watch bad movies.
    • Dr. Forrester manages to take a level posthumously when it's revealed he deliberately designed the satellite to self-destruct after 10 years.
  • Trivially Obvious: Servo compares Soultaker to the works of Akira Kurosawa, saying that both are films.
  • Voodoo Shark: The riffers lampshade that the whole soul explanation raises a lot of questions that the movie doesn't seem interested in answering.
  • Waxing Lyrical: Triggered by the burnout soultaker who always wears shades.
    Mike: Hey by the way, do you wear your sunglases at night so you can, so you can keep track of the visions in your dreams?
  • What Could Have Been: As great as it is to see Joel back on the SOL, not having him join Mike and the Bots in the theater for some riffing is a major blown opportunity. Joel explained that he wasn't able to help write any of the riffing, and didn't want to do any scenes that were completely scripted for him.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Mike claims to have fixed the ship, and asks the question. "How about everything??"
  • Who Writes This Crap?!: Inverted by Mike as Zach, to a confused Natalie: "Hey look, you wrote this crap."



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